Does Your Business Cater to Diversity?

Does Your Business Cater to Diversity?

catertodiversityA white marketing executive from Atlanta was fired because of his Facebook post that gathered racist comments from his friends. Kudos to the company, Polaris Marketing Group, where this man worked! They clearly know that one of the greatest aspects in growing a business is having a team who has respect for each other and for others. Congratulations to them because they fought and won the battle against inequality and discrimination! They are a company with the reputation of a business which values people regardless of color.

On the other hand, the situation is a little frustrating. Even in these da
ys as we believe slavery is a thing of the past, we are still dealing with the consequences of the mark left by those now ancient times. Some people are still mistreated. Ignorant people are still on the loose. There are those who still don’t know how to take full responsibility for what they do – and social media opens the doors for the crazies to rampantly run their mouths.
So here’s the story, in case you haven’t already heard: The Facebook post consisted of a photo the perpetrator had taken with a black three year old kid in the background, who just so happened to be the son of his co-worker, Sydney Shelton. His name is Gerod Roth – whose Facebook profile was Geris Hilton and is now deactivated. After his post went viral and was subjected to negative attention, Mr. Roth claimed his words were taken out of context, and that it is not only the kid who was victimized – he had also been targeted. He wrote a letter of apology to his coworker, however, it was too little too late. Her son had already been bullied online, called names, ridiculed, and hurt. What is more painful to me is that, it was just a three year old kid who was subjected to this kind of inhumane acts.

This is the era of speedy things – internet, technological innovations, spread of news, action of the government to a problem, reaction of people to situations, etc. People need to remember to be more mindful of what they do because it is not easy – actually it is nearly impossible with the internet – to take things back. And it is there for everyone to see: the media, future employers, and potential customers or clients.
This is not the first story of an employee getting fired because of racial posts. A Filipino nurse in Singapore was also fired because of posting offensive comments against Singaporeans.

Read more about that story here: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/tan-tock-seng-hospital-fires-filipino-nurse-who-made-offensive-comments-on-facebook

Many accounts of this kind of story exist, and some serve as a clear indication that our businesses are becoming more considerate in the well-being of its members regardless of color, gender preference, language, or status in life. It means that they are open to diversity.

Is your idea of a business one that will cater to a diversified group of people? Let us know by commenting below!

 

Source: http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/30427294-story

Saying NO to Starting a Business.

Saying NO to Starting a Business.

So here’s the story: A few weeks back, Craig calls me. I was busy at the time but eventually got to return his call.

He lost his job and as a solution to ease his stress he wanted to know if he should start a business. If you’ve ever started a business or knows someone who has, you’ll find this comical to say the least. Collect yourself.

Any who, he calls, but I ignore it.

I’m usually busy throughout the day and if I talk to someone at certain times I can easily do that thing where you mentally rush a person off of the phone. Even though it is mostly in my head, it’s rude so I just don’t answer the phone.

It is why taking time off is important. It can be damn hard to “take off” when you do what you love, but it is important.

I mean really important. You can’t just take off a day here and there either. I mean really take the time to not do anything.

So here’s the thing: It has taken me years to get the benefit of it. When you feel called to something, you are driven by it. Some of this is ego, mind you. I don’t necessarily believe it is always a good or bad thing, but it can prevent you from thinking straight.

What I mean by “straight” is when it comes to your work, pick a lane. PICK A LANE. When you drive in too many lanes you may end up doing one or more of the following three things:

  1. Piss off your colleagues, team and powers that be (i.e. clients)
  2. Stop yourself from being good at one or two things, if you’re trying to be good at 5 or 6 things. We gettttt it! You’re impactful. You’re very accomplished. You’re smart and witty. You’re still just the one person who, despite how hard you’ve tried, is really only really good at the one or two things.  
  3. You’re avoiding a hard truth that I learned the hard way: Having your hand in 101 things (on the board of this, volunteer for that, attending 10 networking events in a 7 day span) will not necessarily mean you’ll be able to accomplish it all, see it all, fulfill it all or be it all to everyone. In short, trust that your lane is enough to make the impact it’s meant to make. Doing more than that means you’re really not accomplishing anything.

And when you have your car in different lanes, you take yourself too seriously. You fancy yourself more important than you actually are.

Anywho, Craig called and wanted to know if he should start a business.

I laughed. The answer is hell no. Hell. No. Hells No. Hellllllll NO!

Hell no. I didn’t say it this way, of course. What do you take me for? I’m no ass hole.

We all have that one friend or cousin who right after college said, “I should be a teacher!” It was determined right after school when said person did not get into the program they wanted or could not land the job they wanted to land.

I did it and was awful at it, but thought it was a good idea, because “Hey! Ebonni loves the kids.” I also am pretty good at English and how hard is it to teach someone? (I was 22. Give me a break, will you?!)

Anywho, the lesson here is… you guessed it… a good teacher is a great teacher because of the focus they devote to their craft. They learn it. They practice it. They work to improve it. For some, they are called and it is kind of disrespectful to blurt out “Let me try this on forsayingnotobusiness size!” on a whim. If you’re going to pick up a new trade or vocation, respect the industry enough to do something. Ask yourself, “If I knew I would question myself, my skill, my bank account – would I still want to do/be a {insert dream/business/idea}?”

If your answer is no or you’re wavering, you’ll want to ask yourself some more clarifying questions. We’ll get to them later.

Craig’s answer was no and my answer was good. Stay in your lane. It saves people, clients, family, friends and most importantly….you, time, money and sanity.

Guest Blog: The New Face of Corporate Activism

Guest Blog: The New Face of Corporate Activism

While we like the sound of our own voice here at The Idea Inc, every week we want to showcase the voices of other bloggers or articles we think do a good job of conveying an important message to business. We are a company that loves to work with businesses that have a purpose and much of the time that means some sort of social activism may come into play. This article looks at the face of corporate activism, and shares some interesting points on how that face is changing and how corporations can use it to their advantage. It is a very interesting read, and definitely worth your time.

The New Face of Corporate Activism (link to full article below):

Illustration by Mike Reddy

Illustration by Mike Reddy

From the Arab Spring to the protests in Baltimore, social movements have become a pervasive feature of contemporary society. Moreover, activists are increasingly targeting companies and even nonprofits. Although this environment creates new challenges for business, it also presents an opportunity for social intrapreneurs to change their companies for the better, from the inside out. – See more at: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_new_face_of_corporate_activism#sthash.VXQtl5aU.dpuf

Revive

Revive

I am excited! Our website has a new look, Danielle continues with rebranding, and Ebonni constantly reaches out to solopreneurs/organizations/startups/growing businesses. It’s time that we revive the purpose of our company!

I’ve been working for The Idea Inc. (TII) for years now and I, too, have experienced the stage of stagnancy like what some relationships, businesses, and/or lives had. I focused on finishing my daily tasks for our clients, but I forgot about working with purpose. Though there is opportunity to learn from every day, I didn’t strive to maximize my ability to know new things and develop new skills. I stopped connecting with purposeful people. I neglected the thrills of the thought that we’re supporting people who are changing the world.

I bet you’ll agree: it happens in all relationships. There will come a time that you’ll lose the spark of love. You’ll stop noticing the little things that your partner does to make you happy. Or you will cease doing things to make him/her happy. You will start thinking that you just have to be there. But that’s not how a relationship should be. It’s not only being together. It’s about enjoying life together.

A relationship can be fantastic, but it can be very trying, too. It is the commitment with your better half that will survive it all.

Same holds true with your purpose. Sometimes you’ll lose enthusiasm, but it is the commitment that will push you through. Sometimes you’ll need to work on your commitment, to do things that you’re uncomfortable doing to make sure that you keep the flame burning scarlet. You’ll need to relive your purpose because you believe it is paramount to your existence and to the world.

Can’t you tell? I’m so looking forward to supporting people who want to relive their purposes.

 

-Queenie

Judithann Gardine: A Case Study

Judithann Gardine: A Case Study

The Client: Mrs. Judithann Gardine is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves her family. She wrote a children’s book for her grandson with a plan to continue writing

The Purpose: Mrs. Judithann had two ultimate purposes:  One purpose is to leave a legacy for our oldest grandchild by writing a story about him.  The other purpose is to write and publish a popular children’s book.

The Idea: The Playdate – a children’s book about how to treat others, motivated by the author’s grandson.

The Problem: “There were several reasons that prevented me from taking on my idea.  I needed an illustrator who was willing to work with someone else’s’ drawings.  After being presented with an illustrator, I had no idea what to do after the illustrations were complete.  I felt a professional would know how to have my book printed, published, copyrighted, and sold.  I was very busy with other things and really did not have the time or knowledge to go to the next step.”

The Work: Mrs. Judithann wanted The Idea, Inc. to help with the printing, publishing, and copyright and with placing my book in stores.

This was implemented through a business plan that incorporated steps for researching printers, the process for copyrighting, and sales calls for product placement in local stores catered to children in the Orlando area, where our client is located.

The Results:
Working with The Idea, Inc., Mrs. Judithann has been able to:
1. Have the first ever batch of The Playdate printed.
2. Copyright application submitted and processing.
3. A distinguished publisher has viewed it.
4. Two book signings – one at a bookstore with copies sold.
5. The Playdate has also been donated to two school libraries.

Client Revelations:
I have adjusted my expectations for the book.  I have a good story with good illustrations and my book should sell more than I expected.  (However, if it does not I shall not be disappointed because I pursued my dream for the story.)  I realized that I am more interested in leaving a legacy of a book for each of our grandchildren than I am about doing a series or shortening the story.

Your Fears Will Wallop You

Your Fears Will Wallop You

Only think about how you’ll make a living and/or how you’ll pay the overhead needed to do the work you want to do after you’ve spent time being creative.

You have to keep a roof over your head, keep the lights on and keep food in your belly! You may already have employees or investors to consider. In some ways, money is all you think about when you think about starting a business, running a campaign or developing a community initiative.

With that said, here is my thought for the day: during the period of time that you are brainstorming, creating, and/or flushing out the idea, try not to focus on money while you are working out the details of your business, non-profit, or program.

Yes, eventually you have to add money to the equation, however spend a brainstorming session (or two) just flushing out the idea.

I highly encourage you to focus on the idea for a select period of time for a few reasons:

  1. You may not want to earn money doing the work you are meant to do. I know this may be surprising, but some people want to do what they love without earning a living doing it. I like to question our clients on this on occasion, because some people take on this philosophy, not because they have no interest in making money from their work, but because they don’t see themselves (or their work) as valuable.
  1. If you focus on your idea while you obsess over how you’ll make money, the creative juices will either slow down to a painful drip or stop all together. I can attest to this fact in ways i won’t talk about here. Let’s just say it is better when you create, plan, then consider logistics, in that order.
  1. Money is a result, not a solution. What i mean by this is even if you had all the money in the world, it won’t help you if you haven’t properly planned anything. It doesn’t mean money can’t assist with moving your idea forward. It means seeing it as a solution will keep you chasing after money and not expanding on an idea.

Most people will now think i’ve lost my mind. You want me not to consider earning a living. It will go against everything you’ve ever understood or experienced in your life. You have to eat, right? You will inevitably ask yourself, “well, pray tell, genius, how are you going to eat while being a sculptor?” This question is important and shouldn’t be ignored, however, give yourself a task to add “idea logistics” back into the planning stage once you’ve made headway with the actual idea.

Sustaining your well-being, earning a living, keeping a roof, paying bills, eating, etc. Are necessities, right? Assume for a moment these things are a part of the equation. Consider your idea first, and we will tackle these important details in a bit. I want to ask you a question that you should do before you consider money.

Question: “do i have what it takes?”

Many people don’t even go here, because the thought of restructuring your business, starting a new business, or organizing an annual event never actually happens because they are immediately stopped by, “will i have to change the life i have grown accustomed to in order to make it happen?” In some cases, yes.

There are a lot of things you thought you’d never do in your life or career, yet somehow you did it. The question is, do you think you will be able to do it? The deeper question is, do you think you’re enough to do it? Good enough? Smart enough? Old enough? Young enough? Experienced enough? All good questions that cause fear in some people and stop the others from doing the work all together.

Right now, all i am suggesting is for you to think about the idea only. Here are a few ways to focus your mind on what is important right now:

  1. Who will want what i am offering? (market research)
  2. What location will i use to do my work? (operations)
  3. What problem am i attempting to solve by doing this work? (marketing)
  4. If i were successful, what would the people i work with have as a result?

So what now?

Use the example from the original email i sent you to help you flush out the idea. If you don’t get those emails, sign up at the bottom of this page.

Flush out your idea and answer the above questions by using google keep (where you can put down all of your brainstormed ideas without anyone seeing it…yet!): >>>your ideas

As you begin to think about logistics, the thought of money will come up. What helped me to make my work financially possible, was a simple key that changed the direction of my business. I’ll tell you about that next time.